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Mercury online readers support bid for spit guards

The campaign for the introduction of spit guards in Leicestershire Police has received support from members of the public.

Leicestershire Police Federation members recently voted 96 per cent in favour of the guards after 667 of the Force's 1,700 officers completed a survey. More than a quarter of them claimed they had been spat at while on duty.

Since then, the Federation has met with senior officers to make the case for the introduction of the guards that are put on the faces of assailants who spit - or have history of spitting - at them.

Leicestershire Police Federation chairman Tiff Lynch described those meetings as 'very positive'.

The Leicester Mercury has been covering the story which has attracted plenty of feedback from its online readers.

An overwhelming majority of the comments made as a reaction to the story were supportive of the bid to introduce spit guards for the Force. One reader said: "Absolutely. If they behave like animals, spitting like camels, then 'hood' them!"

Another added: "Why should anyone have to put up with being spat on? People have a choice - don't spit and you don't have to wear a spit hood. You spit, and you have the hood put on."

There have been a number of cases across the country recently where officers have been forced to go for health checks in the wake of being spat on. One Leicestershire officer explained: "Because he had spat in my face, I had to contact the Force's occupational health department and then had to go to the Glenfield Hospital for a blood test to check whether my Hepatitis B immunity levels were satisfactory."

Mercury readers added: "Of course it should (be introduced). Have you ever been spat at? It's disgusting."

While two more were succinct and straight to the point.

"Why should the officers be put at risk," asked one reader. While another added: "Absolutely, yes. I would rather be punched than spat at."